During Holy Week, I was asking a colleague about her family’s Easter traditions. “We have our egg hunt on the third Sunday of Easter.”
Cognitively, I understand that Easter season lasts until Pentecost. Yet until this recent conversation, it had never occurred to me to keep celebrating Easter beyond the initial Octave. With my newfound appreciation for honoring the entire Easter season, I have brainstormed a few ways families can continue to live in the spirit of the Resurrection!
Prayer & Home
- Create a family prayer table or space if you don’t already have one. It can be as simple as a white pillowcase, candle and cross. Pray in front of the prayer table as a family. Hallow’s Easter Prayers for 2023 include some short, simple prayers as well as fun prayers specifically for kids.
- Spring cleaning can offer a physical sense of a “new start” for families. Please donate gently used items to a local ministry or thrift store. If you have anything of value that hasn’t been used in year, consider selling it and offering the proceeds to your parish or favorite charity.
- 1 Corinthians 5: 6-8 encourages a clearing of the old yeast and making a fresh batch of dough in honor of the paschal lamb. Many consider this scriptural passage as the origin of the tradition that many cultures share of enjoying sweet breads for Easter. Pane di Pasqua(Italian Easter Bread) is going to be a delicious addition to the table all season long.
Get Outside & Enjoy
- Continue hiding and finding eggs! If the prospect of a weeks-long sugar rush is too much for the kids, browse Catholic Etsy stores or websites like Be a Heart for faith-based stickers. Consider dyeing eggs or decorating Easter cookies to make small Easter baskets for homebound friends or neighbors.
- Use spring gardening as a metaphor. Start with some weeding and pruning; we need to remove the excess to successfully plant. Discuss how new plants grow best when they have more access to sun and nutrients. What do we need to release to allow for new growth in our lives during this Easter season?
- Take a mini pilgrimage by visiting a local shrine or a different parish. Being exposed to new images of Jesus or depictions of saints can be a springboard for cultivating faithful curiosity and conversation.
- Fly a kite. In Bermuda, there is a Good Friday tradition of flying homemade kites to represent Jesus rising from the dead. I think that this symbolism is perfect for Ascension Sunday, which is observed in most U.S. dioceses on the 7th Sunday of Easter.
- Take an Emmaus Walk with the family. Before leaving, take read the Emmaus story (Lk 24: 13-35) together. Visit some place that has special meaning to your family. Imagine that Jesus is walking with you. Even better, pack a picnic and sit down to share what it as like for each person to walk with Jesus.
Above all else, I pray that you and your family find intentional ways to spend some quality time with Jesus this Easter season. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Photo courtesy of @anya.onishchuk